Small Business Marketing Tactics Survey Results


In December 2015, marketing automation technology company Infusionsoft, along with LeadPages, a maker of landing page software, conducted a marketing tactics survey of over 1,000 small businesses across the United States. regarding their use of digital marketing and published the results in the “2016 Small Business Marketing Trends Report.”

The report created from the Marketing Tactics Survey covered five main areas:

  • Challenges. What small business owners struggle with and seek to improve themselves with in 2016;
  • Tactical. What tools and techniques small business owners try (and which they are successful with) as they move towards their marketing goals;
  • Opportunities. What benefits can small business owners seize in 2016 that will help them achieve their goals and stay ahead of the competition?
  • Trends and forecasts. The trends predicted by Infusionsoft and LeadPages will be at the forefront of small business marketing in 2016.

“We took the collective knowledge and databases of our two companies and put together a piece that was based on solid research, which we believe will be useful for small businesses,” said Jake Johnson, senior editor at Infusionsoft, in a telephone interview with Small Business. Tendencies. “The report highlights the fact that digital marketing is evolving and small businesses need to focus on these changes to be successful in the future. “

Key insights from the marketing tactics survey

Small business marketing can be a lonely job. Almost half (47%) of small business owners manage marketing efforts on their own, according to the report.

Digital marketing is far from universal in the small business world. One of the more surprising findings from the survey is that almost one in five small business owners do not plan to use digital marketing at all in 2016.

Tracking marketing ROI is a major challenge for small business owners. Almost half of those polled said they didn’t know if they were marketing effectively, and 14% knew they were not.

“This is an analytical problem,” Johnson said. “Many small business owners don’t know what tools are available to them and how to properly configure and interpret their data flows. “

Following up on prospects and customers is also a difficult task. Twenty-one percent of small business owners don’t store their contact information anywhere, while only 24% use customer relationship management (CRM) software and 20% use an email marketing service provider. Forty-five percent do not maintain a mailing list that potential customers can subscribe to.

“I suspect most small business owners focus on a few tactics they’ve learned – social media posts, blogs, etc. – but don’t have an overarching marketing strategy to execute their digital marketing tactics.” Johnson said.

Most small businesses still use a fairly unsophisticated digital marketing stack. Forty-one percent use only one or two software applications in their marketing, and 26 percent use three or four.

About half of small businesses plan to invest more in their websites in 2016, and half plan to increase their web advertising budgets. But that doesn’t mean analog marketing tactics are dead. About a quarter of small business owners plan to spend more on print advertising or direct mail, and 14% will spend more on telemarketing or in-person marketing.

Fifty-eight percent of small business owners use social media in their marketing, but less than half create any other type of content to help them get leads and sales.

social media marketing tactics survey

Goals and priorities of digital marketing


In 2016, small businesses said they plan to look to digital marketing primarily to meet goals at the top and bottom of the customer acquisition funnel. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said ‘driving sales’ was the primary focus of their digital marketing, while almost as many (48%) chose to’ increase brand awareness or convey information “.

marketing tactics survey marketing goals

“This strong focus on the top and bottom of the funnel suggests that many small business owners may miss out on opportunities to improve other parts of their customer acquisition and retention process,” Johnson said.


The survey asked which marketing channels small businesses expected to budget more in 2016. Fifty-one percent said improving their website was a top priority.

Small Business Marketing Priorities

“Given the number of companies who have cited building brand awareness or just passing on information as their primary marketing goal, it makes sense that 51% of small business owners plan to spend more money on improve their websites in 2016, ”the report says.

The general theme, according to Johnson, is that small business owners want a “sleek website,” but what they need is a sales and marketing strategy to go along with the site.

“There’s no point in building a website if you don’t have a sales funnel and a tech stack built into it,” Johnson said. “There is now enough scale and options for small businesses to put the technology in place to make the site work from a sales standpoint. You can take a beautiful website and have it do something useful for you.

Opportunities for small businesses

The report highlights five areas where small businesses can use digital marketing technology in 2016:

  • Content marketing;
  • Customer relationship management;
  • E-mail advertising;
  • landing pages;
  • Marketing automation.

“We are seeing a few small businesses starting to use these techniques and think most should be doing it,” Johnson said. “Our customers who have implemented these practices are experiencing measurable growth. “

Trends and forecasts

When it comes to trends and forecasts, the report recommends that small businesses focus on:

  • The use of paid social investments and mobile-friendly assets;
  • Understanding the website is a sales tool, not just a marketing brochure;
  • Integrate all technologies to serve the sales funnel in a transparent manner;
  • Establish KPIs for data and acquire the knowledge and tools to draw conclusions from that data.

Johnson concluded by saying, “It can be easy for a small business owner to read a report like this and feel overwhelmed. The key is to focus on one or two things at the start, do some testing, see what works, and then iterate from there.

Click here for download the survey and report on marketing tactics. Visit the Infusionsoft and Main Pages websites to find out more about what each has to offer.

Image: Infusionsoft, LeadPages

More in: Infusionsoft


Comments are closed.